January 31, 2007

Into the Moral Labyrinth
A Theological Review of Pan's Labyrinth


Pan's Labyrinth (El Laberinto del Fauno) is a new fairy tale, but it's also from the pre-Disney world of fairy tales. As such it is magical, brutal, gruesome, mysterious, and full of wonder. This movie is honest about its R rating and is definitely not for the faint of heart. It is also one of the best cinematic studies of dealing with violence I have seen in quite some time.

The film is set in 1944 Fascist Spain right after the Spanish Civil War. Ofelia, a young girl, and her pregnant mother go to stay at a military outpost to be with Ofelia's new stepfather and the father of her unborn sibling. Her new stepfather is a Captain charged with hunting down the remaining rebels hiding out in the woods and he does so brutally and without remorse.

Ofelia is entranced by fairy tales which she reads constantly. She finds an ancient labyrinth in the woods near the compound which she visits one night. At the center of the labyrinth she encounters a faun who tells her she is the long-lost daughter of the King of the Underworld and gives her three tasks to prove her royal lineage. These are also a test to make sure that her soul hasn't gone native to this realm and that she is still worthy of her royal title.

[Warning: Major spoilers follow. I completely give away the ending. Read on only if you've seen the film or never intend to do so. You've been warned.]

Continue reading "Into the Moral Labyrinth
A Theological Review of Pan's Labyrinth" »

January 18, 2007

Night at the Museum Review-o-Rama

You know, it's interesting what people decide to blog on. My daughter, my son, and I all went to see Night at the Museum and we all independently decided to blog on it. Go fig.

Emma's Review
Simon's Review
My Review

December 9, 2006

Fate, Life, and Art -
A Theological Review of "Stranger than Fiction"


Harold Crick has a problem. He is aware of his fate.

Well, not entirely, but one morning as he is going through his paces he suddenly hears a disembodied voice narrating his every move and commenting on the mundaneness of his routine. He soon realizes that this voice is narrating a story that will culminate with his ultimate demise... and soon.

He sets out on a desparate odyssey to find this disembodied voice and convince the owner not to finish the story. Along the way he contends with his number obsessed colleagues at the IRS, an anarchist baker who becomes the object of his affection, and a professor of literature who tries to guide him through the narrative of his life.

[Spoiler Alert - Plot spoilers ahead. You've been warned.]

Continue reading "Fate, Life, and Art -
A Theological Review of "Stranger than Fiction"" »

July 11, 2006

Davy Jones and the Fear of Death

priatesrun-5.jpgMichelle Hargrave has an excellent theological review of the new Pirates of the Carribean film on her blog, 33 Names of Grace. I foresee Michelle and me becoming Siskel and Ebert meets Tillich and K√ľng.

July 2, 2006

Preaching an Inconvenient Truth

Al GoreI had two big takeaways from watching An Inconvenient Truth:

1) Al Gore may be more in love with his Apple laptop than I am with mine. (Note: Al Gore is on the board of Apple.)

2) Al Gore is a very good preacher.

The second point came to me when I was leaving the film and my friend mentioned how good the film was and how she appreciated that Al Gore wasn't "too preachy." And I realized that while he wasn't preachy, he was, in fact, preaching in the best sense. The whole film has a sermonlike quality and structure to it.

Continue reading "Preaching an Inconvenient Truth" »

June 29, 2006

Messianic Superman: Why the World Doesn't Need a Comicbook Savior


I watched the new Superman movie last night and thoroughly enjoyed it as a film, but less so as theology. Before I go there though let me say, go see this film. It's brilliantly conceived and directed by Bryan Singer with a good story and fantastic performances, especially by Kevin Spacey and Parker Posey.

The movie goes boldly into theological turf, and that's where it runs into trouble.

[Warning: Mild spoilers follow.]

Continue reading "Messianic Superman: Why the World Doesn't Need a Comicbook Savior" »